Lima – COP 20 – setting the stage for climate progress

The UN-Sponsored Conference of the Parties will commence deliberations at Lima, Peru today. There is a certain optimisim that there will be progress at this Conference.  Is that realistic, given the lack of progress up to now towards meeting reduction goals?

There are several hoped-for results.  One is the development of a consensus on emissions targets for the time frame 2025 and on.   Again, how can that be, given the performance of key countries until now?

Five years ago Canada agreed to specific reductions in GreenHouse Gases by 2020.  As we have noted many times, Canada is well below a track to that target.  The recently-released United Nations Emissions Gap Report identified Canada as one of several countries (others being Australia, Mexico and the United States) that  will default on its Copenhagen undertaking.

Admittedly, Canada’s performance could change almost overnight.  Take Canada’s policy on the Green Climate Fund.  At two previous Conferences  Canada  said it would not contribute to the Green Climate Fund beyond amounts already pledged  until there was a new climate change convention in place.

All that changed in a flash when Prime Minister Harper was put on the spot at the G20 conference at Brisbane, Australia.  In a twinkling of an eye the Prime Minister advised the Press that Canada would contribute $265 million (US) to the Green Climate Fund.

Could this sudden step suggest that other Canadian Climate Change policies will change as well?  If so, Lima is the place where it should happen.

For commentary on Canada’s support of the Green Climate Fund see our previous blogs:

Gilbert & Sullivan on Canada’s Climate Leadership

The Doha Conference:  Canada’s credibility

Letter to My British Cousins

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